The $40,000-Ish Tesla Model E Will Debut In 2015S

The Tesla Model S is the electric car that everyone wants. The problem is that with a base price of nearly $70,000, it's not exactly the people's car. But Tesla is about to bring their technology and style to a much wider audience with a car that will be unveiled in early 2015.

The Los Angeles Times reports that a Tesla sedan in the $40,000 range — anticipated to be called the Tesla Model E — will debut at the Detroit Auto Show. Sadly, it's not the one next month, but the one in 2015, so we've got some time to kill before we see it for real.

That car should go on sale in 2016 or 2017 and pack at least a 200 mile electric range. The Times quoted an analyst who elaborated on why the Model E will be a big deal:

"This is hugely important for Tesla," said Thilo Koslowski, an auto industry analyst at Gartner. "This is ultimately the car that will make Tesla a household brand rather than just something in the premium segments. No car company can live off 20,000 to 30,000 sales a year and be profitable in the long term."

Before we get the Model E, we'll see the debut of the stylish Model X crossover, which is said to be priced in the same ballpark as the Model S sedan. That car won't be cheap, but I expect it to sell like hot cakes when it's finally released.